90+ Degrees, And That's in the Shade
Took a lesson yesterday, and it was horribly hot.
On the plus side, besides the temperature, Tucker was really good. Gabriel kept insisting he is looking better and better both physically and in his training.
The trot work was great with Tuck willing to step more and more under himself with a quicker stride behind which is the basis for collection. And, he is carrying himself in a more elevated frame. What pleased me as well is that because of the heat, we took a number of walk breaks, and each time Tucker gave me minimal problems going back up into the frame to work again.
Then we moved on to canter as I wanted to try the flying changes. We did a number of canter walk canter transitions and a stretch of counter canter on each lead. Gabriel agrees that counter canter will help strengthen Tuck's prolematic right lead as will a lot of transitions.
Then we tried the changes. Gabriel had me do a 10 meter half circle reverse back to the wall, change the bend and make an obvious "swing" with my legs to the new lead canter aid. Tucker kind scuffled the change behind and then kind of scuffled for the change in front, and that was on the "bad" side. On the good side we got something akin to a change but definitely not what I'd had at home, but that's OK. Then we tried the bad side again. This time, Tucker leapt into the air with his hind end and, according to Gabriel, I checked him in front istead of pushing him on, and lost the offer he'd given me. Ah, well, when you feel as if you are going to be bucked out of the saddle, I guess checking is sort of a typical reaction. *G*
I decided that was enough mostly because the heat was unbearable and both Tuck and I were wilting.
Proof postitive when we went back to try a little lateral work at the trot and Tuck was out of gas on the second rein. He quit at the shoulder-in/haunches in combo and did it at a walk. Then, we did get the diagonal to the half-pass at the trot, so I figured that was enough. Besides, if muscle fatigue was setting in because of the heat, Tucker was being smart. The last thing I need is for him to collapse on his stifle again.
One of my friends who takes lessons too was watching and was totally blown away at how much Tucker has changed too. She hasn't seen him in several months.
I guess it's for real. I really do know how to develop a dressage horse. *S*